A few days ago Search Engine Land announced that the Google PageRank Toolbar has been updated for the first time in ten months. The news has sent millions of website owners into a frenzy with reports that of many people sitting at their computers in funny hats smiling.
The reality is that most website owners do not pay attention to page rank. Years ago, a website’s worth was defined by how much green love Google was giving it. The story is different today. As Spencer Haws pointed out yesterday, PageRank is one of many factors Google considers when it ranks a website. Over the years, the weight given to PageRank has decreased. Today, Google looks at so much more than the PageRank of a website.
Spencer did a search for some keywords and found that the websites at the top of search results had a lower PageRank than the websites at the bottom. I doubt this will surprise any of you, however it is telling to see this occur in so many search terms.
What I do not understand is that Google still promotes their PageRank toolbar. Why do Google still publicly tell the world the PageRank of a website? Why do they encourage internet users to download the PageRank toolbar?
Perhaps a better question is, why are Google not as vocal about other ranking factors such as page authority? Is it simply a matter of nostalgia with PageRank?
My own recommendation is to not spend too much time worrying about PageRank. Google uses it as a factor when ranking your website, so it is still important, however it is one of many factors being used to rank you. My advice is to focus on building a high quality website. This will help generate more incoming links from good websites and, in turn, help your PageRank increase.
Thanks for reading,